Congrats! You’ve (almost) made it through the first school Term. It really is hard to believe how fast it’s flying by. But now, as a parent, it’s time for you and your child to reset over the Easter break, have some downtime, and prepare for a strong Term 2. Here are some tips to help you get there.
Prioritise quality time
The older we get, the rarer our opportunities for free time. Make sure you use the Easter break as a chance to spend intentional quality time with your loved ones and children. Whether this is a couple of lovely meals and a day spent relaxing, or a road trip to a beautiful camping spot on the coast – relish in the chance to enjoy your family’s company free from work distractions, school stresses, commitments or anything else. If you need to, turn your emails off for the weekend.
Give your children the opportunity to truly and properly reset for a great new Term. Treat it like a New Year holiday! This doesn’t mean days of TV time and wasted hours, it means taking full advantage of the time you have off to enjoy yourself and engaging in some real leisure time! Go for some awesome walks, give your kids some great books to keep their brains engaged, and get out and soak up the last bits of Autumn sun! Schedule time for sleep-ins and hours of doing “not-much” – so that when they return to school they’re thoroughly rested and replenished for a good haul of hard work. If we don’t take the time to rest properly, we’re much more likely to burn out when the pressure’s on, so make sure you encourage your family to take full advantage of the time you’ve got.
Preparing for Term 2
Talk to your child
Depending on how school went in the first Term, talk to your child to see how they’re feeling about Term 2. Nervous? Excited? Dreading it? If they do decide to open up, then listen to their worries without judgement or pressure. Saying “That’s completely reasonable,” or “it makes perfect sense that you feel that way” is a great way to let them know that they feel understood. However, if they are feeling negative about school, it’s important to follow these affirmations up with actionable solutions to their worries.
“What makes you sad about returning to school?”
“My friends are being mean at school, it’s making me feel isolated.”
“Oh, that’s a horrible feeling. Maybe this Term will be different. You could try sitting with a different group at lunchtime?”
“What makes you worried about going back to Physics?”
“I don’t understand anything, and I have an assignment due!”
“How about we look into finding you a tutor / upping the frequency of lessons? You could go through your assignment with them before it’s due.”
“What don’t you like about your teacher?”
“She has favourites in the class and I’m not one of them.”
“Maybe you should have a conversation with her about how you feel? I can be there to support you if you want.”
A calm start:
The holidays provide a great break from the pressure of the Term, but oftentimes, you find yourself craving a routine in the end days to restore that sense of order in the house! To be completely refreshed for a calm, energising and productive start to the term, it’s a good idea to start following routines and getting prepared in the house a couple of days before school starts back – saving yourself the rushed running around on the day before Monday.
- Get all your stationery and supplies before school starts back again.
- Plan a realistic study schedule (or ask your child’s tutor to do so in their next lesson) in order to start the term off with good habits.
- Mark out all the “pressure points” or big deadlines in the Term on your communal calendar, so that you know when extra support is required, or extra tutoring lessons might be scheduled in.
- Have a dinner conversation where everyone sets their “Term goals” for the next few months, and then catch up on those goals regularly throughout the family dinners to come.
Look into getting your child some reliable back to school resources like StudyTime’s NCEA Walkthrough guides. They’re affordable, accurate, streamlined and teen-friendly – and will give your child a whole lot more “security” if they’re feeling uncertain or anxious in their studies.
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